Everything That's Wrong with the Fashion Industry

Currently, 400% more parts are produced than were produced 20 years ago; most women only wear 20% to 30% of the clothes in their closets; each year, 80 billion clothing products are produced; brands started to launch 52 capsule collections per year, leaving behind the conventional two collections. If these numbers weren't enough to surprise you, we have another fact to present to you: on average, we only wear a piece of clothing seven times before putting it aside.

Fast fashion has become a real monster in our closets. The fall in clothing prices over the last 20 years has allowed us to buy more and more clothes – we now have five times as many clothes as our grandparents did.

In reality, this continuous accumulation of very affordable clothes is only possible due to a constant reduction in production costs, something that, in turn, has serious consequences that are reflected in our health, our planet and the lives of those who work in the production of our clothing.

What is Fast Fashion?

Fast Fashion consists of mass production of very economical and disposable clothing. The countless new collections launched each year make us feel constantly out of date and encourage us to keep buying more and more. Also for this reason, today it becomes a challenge to wear the same item more than five times, not only because the quality of clothes has been decreasing, leaving them faded, shapeless and worn, but also because of the constant feeling that we have to know how to follow trends.

Can we change this situation?

In fact, the fashion industry is the second biggest polluter in the world, behind only the oil industry. So, inevitably, environmental damage is increasing as the industry grows. However, there are solutions and alternatives to mitigate these problems, and the first step is to create awareness and a desire to change.

The clothing we purchase has become increasingly disposable and, as a result, we generate more and more textile waste. Synthetic fibers, such as polyester, are plastic fibers (thus not biodegradable) and can take up to 200 years to decompose. These are used in 72% of our clothes.

Therefore, when it comes to our consumption habits, we can and should:

  • Buy less clothes;
  • Purchase products of higher quality and, therefore, that have greater durability;
  • Recycle textiles;
  • Choose natural or semi-synthetic fibers.

Sustainable fashion, a way forward .

Apparently, there is no common definition of sustainable fashion. Green Strategy , a Swedish consultancy that helps companies in the fashion and textile industry develop, states that the ecological nature of fashion can consist of clothing, footwear and accessories manufactured, marketed and used in the most sustainable way possible, considering all environmental and socioeconomic aspects. This implies continuous work to improve all stages of the product's life cycle: design , raw material production, manufacturing, transportation, storage, marketing, final sale, use, reuse, recycling of the product and its components.

From an environmental point of view, the objective should be to minimize any undesirable environmental effects of the product's life cycle, ensuring the efficient and careful use of natural resources (water, energy, land, soil, animals, plants, biodiversity, ecosystems, etc. ), selecting renewable energy sources (wind, solar, etc.) at all stages and maximizing the recycling and reuse of the product and its components.

At the same time, still according to the Green Strategy , it is imperative to improve the current working conditions of workers in the field, in factories, in the transport chain and in stores.

One of the main responsibilities of fashion companies is to change their production, distribution and marketing practices and strategies in order to achieve greater sustainability.

One of the solutions may involve creating high-quality fashion with a timeless design , that is, following a more focused approach to product durability; Another option is to manufacture clothes with certified fabrics (according to environmental labels), which is also a valid strategy to promote more conscious consumption patterns.

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